Unmanned spaceship splashes down near California

2015-02-11 18:19
The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (John Raoux, AP)

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (John Raoux, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles  An unmanned Dragon spaceship splashed back to Earth on Tuesday after a successful supply run to the International Space Station but its owners were forced to scrub the launch of an important weather satellite on the other side of the continent.

The Dragon parachuted into the Pacific west of Mexico's Baja Peninsula at 16:45, according to Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX.

The capsule flew 2 250kg of groceries and belated Christmas presents to the space station last month. The station's astronauts had been awaiting supplies since a ship from another company was destroyed in an October launch explosion.

Dragon returned with science samples and broken equipment, including bad spacesuit parts.

The landing came about 90 minutes after SpaceX scrubbed the planned launch of a weather satellite called the Deep Space Climate Observatory from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

SpaceX called off its sunset launch with just 12 minutes remaining in the countdown because of gusts of 185 kph several kilometers up - strong enough to damage the rocket in flight.

It was the private company's second attempt in three days to launch the spacecraft first envisioned by former Vice President Al Gore and resuscitated by Nasa, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Air Force.

Last-minute radar trouble foiled Sunday's launch effort, then SpaceX skipped Monday because of heavy rain.

SpaceX must launch the observatory by Wednesday or face a delay until 20 February.

The flight also is designed to test the potential for reusing its launch rockets. SpaceX will try to land the leftover first-stage booster on a floating platform off the Florida coast.

SpaceX tried to land the Dragon's booster rocket on a barge last month but it landed too hard and broke into pieces.

Read more on:    spacex  |  us  |  space

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.